One Health Newsletter

One Health Newsletter: Volume 14 Issue 1

Resourcefulness, resources, and the CCDM: An essential for practitioners of veterinary public health


Jayden McCall and Justin Kastner, with files from Anne Straily

The Control of Communicable Diseases Manual (CCDM) is a resource that describes many important features, such as pathogen/agent information, clinical signs, and prevention measures, for hundreds of infectious diseases.1 To compile such a vast wealth of information, the American Public Health Association (APHA) calls on experts in the field to help provide material for the CCDM. One such expert is Dr. Anne Straily, a veterinarian who graduated from Kansas State University and now studies toxoplasmosis (along with several other parasitic diseases) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Straily has assisted with the most recent online edition of the CCDM (specifically in the toxoplasmosis chapter updated in 2020).

The CCDM is especially useful for individuals working in public health settings and medical practitioners (primarily those working in human health) and has been available since 1917, with new editions periodically released (the online version is updated annually). Additionally, it serves as a good resource for individuals to establish a solid knowledge base early in their careers. Dr. Justin Kastner, a K-State faculty member who teaches one of K-State’s new undergraduate public health courses (DMP 314 Environmental and Public Health), is convinced of the long-term usefulness of the CCDM that he requires his students to purchase it for the course. This idea of “resourcing” students with texts, such as the CCDM, is something that Dr. Straily values. She says, “You don’t need to know everything, but you do need to know where to look for it.” Indeed, this type of resource can be useful for human health practitioners to screen for various communicable diseases, thus aiding with more accurate diagnoses.

Jayden McCall and Dr. Justin Kastner with the CCDM
Figure 1: Jayden McCall (left) poses with the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, commended to him by Justin Kastner (right). (Source: Justin Kastner)

While the original version is utilized by a wide range of public health professionals, there are two other versions of the CCDM for specific audiences, one for laboratory practice and one for clinical practice. Some similarly helpful resources for individuals and practitioners in different domains of public health and veterinary public health include the Yellow Book, Red Book, and The Merck Veterinary Manual. The Yellow Book (a resource produced by the CDC) is geared toward travelers’ health and can be useful when planning trips abroad and educating people before traveling.2 The Red Book is a resource produced by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and provides information regarding infectious diseases in children.3 Finally, The Merck Veterinary Manual serves as a primary resource for veterinary professionals, which includes information on infectious and non-infectious animal diseases.4 This resource has been available since 1955 and has been perpetually available in several subsequent editions since that time. Despite working in the veterinary field for over a decade, Dr. Straily says she still uses The Merck Veterinary Manual in her professional career!

Over the past two years, public health has been brought into the limelight more than ever before. Interestingly, coronaviruses are described briefly in the most recent edition of the CCDM in the “Common Cold and Other Acute Viral Respiratory Diseases” section. When asked about her expectations regarding coronaviruses in future editions, Dr. Straily anticipates that the CCDM may devote a new section entirely to the agent responsible for the current pandemic (SARS-CoV-2), or it may just receive more attention and information in the chapter coronaviruses are already housed in. At the time of this article’s publication, COVID-19 has already received its place in the online version of the CCDM. If history is any indication, the CCDM will prove to be an essential resource for many public health practitioners.

This summer, as part of his Applied Practice Experience for his Master of Public Health project, Jayden McCall (a DVM/PhD/MPH student) one of the authors, worked with Dr. Straily on a project to characterize toxoplasmosis surveillance systems in several states in the United States.


  1. Aiello SE, Moses MA, eds. The Merck Veterinary Manual. 11th ed. Wiley; 2016. Accessed October 5, 2021.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Yellow Book 2020: Health Information for International Travel. (Brunette GW, Nemhauser JB, eds.). New York: Oxford University Press; 2019. Accessed October 5, 2021.

  3. Heymann DL, ed. Control of Communicable Diseases Manual: An Official Report of the American Public Health Association. 20th ed. Washington, DC: APHA Press; 2015. Accessed October 5, 2021.

  4. Committee on Infectious Diseases, American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2021 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. 32nd ed. (Kimberlin DW, Barnett ED, Lynfield R, Sawyer MH, eds.). Itasca: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2021. Accessed October 5, 2021.


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One Health Newsletter

The One Health Newsletter is a collaborative effort by a diverse group of scientists and health professionals committed to promoting One Health. This newsletter was created to lend support to the One Health Initiative and is dedicated to enhancing the integration of animal, human, and environmental health for the benefit of all by demonstrating One Health in practice.

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